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Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009

KANSAI: Who & What

Kobe center organizing overnight trip to Izu

Kobe Cross Cultural Center is organizing an overnight trip from Kansai to Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture, from Jan. 31 to Feb. 1.

An English interpreter will accompany the tour to provide language assistance. Participants will travel to Shizuoka by Shinkansen and enjoy some famous sightseeing spots, including Koganezaki Crystal Park and Dogashima Pleasure Boat Cave Cruise, not to mention a magnificent view of Mount Fuji from Koibito Misaki (Lovers' Cape) in the city of Izu.

Thirty participants, comprising 15 Japanese and 15 non-Japanese, will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Participation is ¥41,300 per person, which includes Shinkansen and bus rides, an overnight stay (in a room for four), admissions to sightseeing spots, a cruise and tax. Participants will stay at Dogashima Komatsu View Hotel and be able to request a twin room for an additional ¥5,250 per person.

Participants will meet the center's staff at 9 a.m. at the Shinkansen ticket gate of JR Shin Osaka Station. The tour is scheduled to break up at around 6:30 p.m. back at JR Shin Osaka Station the following day.

Reservations must be made by phone by Nov. 30. Once the reservation is confirmed, the fee must be paid in advance by Dec. 4 by "genkin kakitome" (registered mail) or by directly bringing cash to the center.

For reservations and more information, contact the center by phone at (078) 646-8127 or by fax at (078) 646-7200.

'Netsuke' exhibition held at Kyoto museum

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, is currently holding a special autumn exhibition of "netsuke," or small kimono accessories, which runs until Nov. 30.

Netsuke were first created in the Edo Period (1603-1867) as fasteners to hang small items, such as tobacco cases and "inro" pill cases, from the obi sashes of kimono. Today, netsuke are created as small-size art works or accessories.

Kyoto Seishu Netsuke Art Museum showcases around 800 netsuke pieces in a former samurai house, which is believed to have been built in 1820. The museum is open during only four limited times each year from April 1 to 30, July 1 to 31, Nov. 1 to 30 and Feb. 1 to 28. This autumn exhibition features works by Bishu Saito, a contemporary netsuke artist who creates pieces with animal motifs.

The museum, a 15-minute taxi ride from JR Kyoto Station, is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is ¥1,200 for adults and ¥600 for junior high and high school students.

For further information, access the museum's Web site at www.netsukekan.jp/ (available in Japanese and English).

Osaka to host two-day Tempozan Brazil Fair

The Tempozan Brazil Fair will be held at the Tempozan Market Place in Minato Ward, Osaka, on Nov. 22 and 23.

At the Rotunda Stage on the third floor of Tempozan Market Place, 30-minute shows of samba, capoeira and bossa nova performances will be held every hour between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Nov. 22, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 23.

On Nov. 23, a Samba Queen Contest will be held from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fifteen samba dancers will perform solo numbers to win the grand prix title.

At the special gallery space on the second floor, Brazilian foods and goods will be sold from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free. The venue is a five-minute walk from Osakako Station on the Chuo subway line.

For more information, contact the organizer at (06) 6576-5501. Go to www.kaiyukan.com/thv/marketplace/ for an access map (in Japanese).

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